What Is Tae-Bo?
Tae-Bo is an aerobic exercise routine made popular by Billy Blanks in the 1990s. Blanks invented the routine in 1976 by using his martial arts and boxing expertise and combining his techniques with elements of dance. It was one of the first cardio-boxing programs to gain commercial success and had sold an estimate 1.5 million video sets by 1999.
Today, Tae-Bo is taught in gyms worldwide as a method to increase fitness through movement rather than fighting and grappling as is often associated with martial arts. While Tae-Bo teaches aspects of self-defence, it is not meant for any combat.
Combining elements of tae kwon do, boxing and aerobics, Tae-Bo provides an intense, full-body, sweat-producing workout that is not for those who take their exercising lightly. The work out consists of kicks and knees associated with the Korean martial art of tae kwon do, and various punching techniques derived from traditional boxing.
Tae-Bo sets itself apart from other martial arts as it is designed primarily to work up a sweat and burn calories. An hour long Tae-Bo work out will burn 500-800 calories, almost double what you'd expect from a regular aerobics class.
The Work Outs
The most difficult part of Tae-Bo when beginning is perhaps not the actual techniques (once a basic demonstration and practice of the techniques involved are given, it is easy to grasp), but the cardio and the stretches in the warm-up.
Blanks makes sure that the effects of each movement is felt, and the warm-ups are not light. Many testimonials from satisfied Tae-Bo students have stated that in the early stages of the program, it is almost impossible to get through a thirty minute work out without needing to stop multiple times to take a breather.
Blanks' enthusiasm and coaching throughout will push you to your limit and you will start feeling the results almost immediately. Once you get started, you will soon realise that Tae-Bo is one of the most effective programs out there for toning and strengthening the muscles.
With Tae-Bo being so intense and focused, results come quickly. Due to the movements and techniques involved, it is incredibly effective in toning and defining the body; particularly the abs, glutes and thighs (which Blanks has a DVD dedicated to).
Tae-Bo is also good for improving balance, coordination and stamina with repeated practice and can also boost self-confidence and self awareness due to the tae kwon doe aspects and the familiarity with martial arts.
One of the most beneficial aspects of the program for those who are looking to lose weight is the pace of which it happens. Due to the huge amount of calories burned per session, with regular, consistent work outs and a healthy diet, results come fast.
You can find out more information about Tae-Bo here.